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Czech game developer Bohemia Interactive Studios' Spiritual Successor to their successful and legendary Operation Flashpoint series. Unlike the original, these installments take place in Present Day, Next Sunday A.D. and 20 Minutes into the Future time frames, not the Cold War. The basic premise and game design philosophy of making a well-researched, true-to-life and unrelentingly realistic simulation of everyday military life is still there, though, as is the practice of using various fairly funny (and Reference Overdosed) Ruritanias as the setting for the games' campaigns and missions.

The story behind the conception of ARMA was one of a painful birth: After finishing their work on Operation Flashpoint, the developer Bohemia Interactive Studio and publisher Codemasters had a major falling-out and split ways. BIS took the rights to the Real Virtuality engine, Codemasters got the rights to the name. BIS has since released three sequels based on this engine, ARMA: Armed Assault (Combined Operations in North America), ARMA II, and ARMA III, while Codemasters developed its own "official" sequel, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Essentially, the BIS sequels closely resemble the original, except they have much better graphics and improved gameplay, while Dragon Rising feels, well, different from the original Flashpoint, and a lot of old veterans seem to think that it suffers from New and Improved Syndrome.


  • ARMA: Armed Assault / Combat Operations (2007): Spiritual Successor and de-facto sequel to Operation Flashpoint, developed by BIS (the original developers of Operation Flashpoint), using an updated engine called Real Virtuality 2 (RV2). ArmA: Armed Assault takes place on the fictional island of Sahrani, divided between two nations: the Democratic Republic of Sahrani in the north, and an oil-rich (and US-backed) Kingdom of South Sahrani. The US forces have been training the South Sahrani military and are just starting to leave (in a trend of the series in which a predominantly US force prepares to leave a destabilized country only to get caught in the fighting; see ArmA III). You see where this is going. With most of the US military gone, the North invades the South and a few remaining US soldiers get caught in the middle of it, and they then aid the South in defeating the North.
    • Queen's Gambit: A modest expansion pack, containing a small new island and a new campaign.
  • Virtual Battlespace 2 (2007): Bohemia Interactive Simulations' Real Virtuality engine, and the Armed Assault game based on it, were so successful and lauded as so realistic that this warranted an update to the game engine (VBS2 used RV2), also sold to the same real military organizations as VBS; in 2012 VBS2 2.0 was released, based on the RV3 engine used by ARMA 2.
  • ARMA II (2009): The successor to Armed Assault, based on the Real Virtuality 3 engine. It takes place in South Zagoria, a province of a destabilizing Ruritania called Chernarus. The current, US-aligned government is desperately fighting a war against communist rebels called the ChDKZ. Of course, the USA intervenes with the Marine Corps to save the failing government forces and launches attacks on the ChDKZ. After a bombing in Moscow - which the rebels blame on a group of anti-ChDKZ guerrillas called the National Party - the Kremlin steps up and tells the US to leave. Not wanting to risk all out war, they do so, and the Russians, under the flag of the UN, deploy into the region, but in a reoccurring trope, the player's squad Razor Team is left behind in the confusion, and is now stuck trying to prove the Red Square bombing was actually a false flag operation by the rebels.
    • Operation Arrowhead (release date June 29, 2010): A standalone expansion pack set in a new country, with new locations and a new campaign; it can be installed into the ARMA 2 directory (or run with ARMA 2 through Steam) to allow for a "Combined Operations" install where both games' content are accessible through the OA client. It is set in Takistan, and the plot is a blatant copy of the The War on Terror. Basically, the dictator of Takistan is said to have nuclear weapons, so the US invades, occupies it, and has to fight an insurgency. It features the US Army (rather then US Marines from the base game), the Takistan Army, local Takistani militias and Insurgents, and United Nations peacekeepers (which is a slight reskin of the Chernarus Defense Forces from base game).
    • British Armed Forces (release date August 29, 2010): DLC expansion pack and sequel to Operation Arrowhead, with British Armed Forces playable.
    • Private Military Company (release date November 30, 2010): DLC expansion pack and sequel to British Armed Forces, adds a Private Military Company named Ion Services, inc. with a deeper storyline and a moral choice.
    • Army of the Czech Republic (release date August 1, 2012): A DLC expansion pack for a Combined Operations install (that is, both ARMA 2 and Operation Arrowhead must be installed) that adds Czech military small arms and vehicles, German KSK commandos, two new 'maps' ("terrains"), a new fifteen-mission single-player campaign, new premade scenarios and more Editor scenario templates.
  • VBS Worlds (2011): This iteration of the VBS engine was developed by BIS in partnership with Caspian Learning and is oriented towards civilian education: water purification unit maintenance, cultural sensitivity training, etc.
  • ARMA: Cold War Assault (2011): A free Remake (or refurbishing if you will) mega patch for the original Operation Flashpoint, released in celebration of the game's 10th anniversary by the developers. Because of the whole legal debacle with Codemasters, applying this patch to an installed copy of OFP will rename the game to ARMA : Cold War Assault. NOTE : Please [don't confuse the original Operation Flashpoint with the ARMA series proper - it's only a predecessor and set in the same universe, but otherwise completely separate. The new title is there only because BIS can't release the patch under the original name of the game, since it's now owned by Codemasters. The synopsis is that there are some islands, one of which is run by the Soviets, one by the US, and the last is independent. Guba, the commander of the Russian forces, wants to remove Gorbachev from power, so he schemes to get the US and the USSR in a war. He uses his forces to invade the independent island, and defeat counterattacking US forces. You have to prevent a World War.
  • Take On Helicopters (2011): This RV3-powered game is about piloting helicopters, and takes place within the ARMA-verse ("Armaversum").
  • Take On Mars (2013): This game is about customizing and controlling a drone on Mars to do scientific missions and make a profit. Unlike all other publicly-released VBS & RV-engine games so far, Take On Mars is nonviolent and has no physical conflict against other living things.
  • ARMA II: Firing Range (2011): a mobile spin-off where you shoot targets at a firing range.
  • ARMA III (2013): Announced for a summer 2012 release (subsequently pushed back to winter 2012 then to 2013, where it was finally released after a long Alpha and Beta) and using the Real Virtuality 4 (RV4) engine, this game extends the ARMA gameplay with underwater operations (scuba diving, etc.), and other features. It features Israeli military equipment (such as the Merkava tank), US Future Warrior equipment, and the military of a resurgent Iran. It takes place on the two Mediterranean islands of Altis and Stratis (based of real life Lemnos). There has just been a bloody civil war followed by, of course, NATO intervention. NATO trains and equips the Altis Armed Forces (AAF) but prepares to leave after the Altisian government starts getting backing by CSAT (a coalition of Eastern countries) and their mandate comes to an end. But as NATO starts leaving their bases on the island of Stratis, things go awry as the AAF suddenly attacks the NATO forces. It is then a desperate struggle to hold back the AAF and get in contact with the rest of NATO with only a small, battered force. It is later revealed that CSAT is helping to provoke the attacks.
    • Karts, Helicopters, Marksman, Jets and Tanks. Small optional DLC additions with new assets to play which are accompanied by plataform updates such as bipods and ejection systems. Karts was an April Fools joke turned official. "Art of War" was a smaller DLC that added some fan-made assets made in a contest organized by Bohemia interactive. The income of the DLC was donated to The Red Cross.
    • ARMA III: APEX (2016): The first major expansion for ARMA III. Set on the island of Tanoa, it features Pacific Expeditionary Forces for both NATO and CSAT (Representing the combined taskforce in NATO's case, and a Chinese deployment in CSAT's case), new vehicles and weapons, and a brand new faction named Syndikat. The plot is about an elite CTRG team that is deployed to Tanoa to help government forces fight off Syndikat, a rebel group formed from the remnants of a failed coup a decade prior. Things soon prove to be more complicated than first thought, as elements that were Left Hanging from the main campaign make a comeback.
      • Old Man: A free mod (released later in the game through an update) for the owners of Apex. Set after the events of Apex Protocol, the scenario follows Santiago, a Tanoan native and ex-legionnaire who returns back home to discover the origin of a mysterious malaria super-strain who is ravaging the country, and together with a familiar CTRG operative – attempts to avert a catastrophic CSAT power play on the island of Tanoa. Differently from the other official scenarios, Old World is a Wide-Open Sandbox campaign, with features such as fast-travel, buying and selling weapons, passing time and a full reputation system.
    • Laws Of War (2017): A smaller scale DLC developed in collaboration with the International Red Cross, revolving around Explosive Ordinance Disposal, humanitarian aid, and the more unpleasant sides of war and its aftermath. The campaign involves an EOD technician doing clean-up in an abandoned village after the Eastwind campaign while being interviewed by a reporter about the village's history during the Altis civil war and the circumstances surrounding the death of a civilian from an unexploded landmine.
    • Tac-Ops (2017): Adds three single-player mini-campaigns. Beyond Hope is a prequel set in the beggining of the civil war between the AAF and the loyalists (later FIA). Stepping Stone is set concurrently with the events of the main campaign, the US Navy is moving towards Altis and must secure the island of Malden; resulting in them fighting a "rogue" North African CSAT regiment. Steel Pegasus follows an IFV crew during the invasion of Southern Altis after the failed assault on the airport.
    • ARMA III: Contact (2019): The second major expansion for ARMA III. Set in the rural region of Nadbór in the fictional country of Livonianote , featuring the Livonian Defense Forces and Russian Spetsnaz, new vehicles, drones, weapons. Oh, and of course, Aliens.
    • Creator DLC: A program of DLCs produced by third-party companies (former modding teams) and published by Bohemia.
      • Global Mobilization — Cold War Germany (2019): Set in the Cold War featuring West and East Germany's Armed Forces, as well communist Poland and Denmark. One terrain in the border between two countries with a summer and winter variations, as well a campaign set in a "Cold War gone hot" scenario between the two Germanies.
      • CSLA Iron Curtain (2021): Set in the Cold War, featuring the Czechoslovak People's Army, the U.S Armed Forces and Indepedent rebels in the border between Czechoslovakia and West Germany.
      • S.O.G. Prairie Fire (2021): Set in the Vietnam War, with focus on the MACV-SOG's operations in Indochina. Featuring the MACV, the Viet Cong, and the armies of North and South Vietnam; the map "Cam Lao Nam", which loosely resembles the geography of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam combined; as well as a co-op campaign following the MACV-SOG's operation in the Ho Chi Minh trail and a brand new multiplayer mode "MIKE Force", a counter-insurgency PvE mode.
      • Western Sahara (2021): Set in the main ARMA universe in the year 2036, in the fictional province of Sefrou-Ramal in the country of Argana, in the Western Sahara. The region has been divided between different tribal militant groups and foreign militaries. New factions added include the Sefrawi Freedom and Independence Army, Tura tribe insurgents, desert NATO forces, UNA note  peacekeepers and the return of the Ion PMC. The DLC also includes new multiplayer modes and an open-world scenario “Extraction”, where an Ion PMC must search the region for a kidnapped journalist.
  • ARMA Tactics (2013): A spinoff developed in the Unity 3D engine. It has nothing in common with the main ARMA series except for visuals and voice acting.
  • ARMA: Mobile Ops (2016): A mobile spin-off developed in the Unity 3D engine. Unlike its predecessor ARMA Tactics, it is a base building strategy game instead. The multiplayers servers were closed in 2022.
  • ARMA Reforger (2022): Reforger is a title using Bohemia's newest Enfusion Game Engine (also used in the standalone DayZ), and the first to be released on consoles. Reforger serves as a Tech-Demo Game of the Enfusion engine and its new systems, meant to showcase what the new engine is capable of in terms of gameplay, modding, graphics, and more, with heavy focus on multiplayer, and also to set the foundations for ARMA 4, as the game is poised to become a "creative platform", focused on modding and modularity. The gameplay gives emphasis to streamlining, refining and modernizing most systems while keeping ARMA's traditional tactical military simulation. The setting is four years after the original Operation Flashpoint, set on the island of Everon during the Cold War in a conflict between the United States, Soviet Union and the FIA rebels.
  • ARMA 4 (TBA): The fourth entry has been confirmed to be in development by Bohemia Interactive. It will use the new Enfusion engine and Reforger will serve as a foundation for it.

Please keep in mind that despite having started as a mod of the second installment of this series, the zombie survival game (that practically codified the genre) DayZ is a game on its own and as such, tropes exclusive to it go on its own page. On the same note, Operation Flashpoint is a separate work and it has its own page, tropes exclusive to it must go in the corresponding page.

Now has a Characters' Page that needs work.


The ARMA series features the following tropes:

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    A - D 

  • Ace Custom: two flavors:
    • In universe, Lt. James uses a Mk. 14 EBR with a RCO (a combat) scope, and while the setup is hardly unique in gameplay terms (in fact, it's quite practical) no other Non Player Characters are seen using it in any official campaign, which makes it very distinctive. It's basically a marksman rifle with an assault rifle scope. Other units, both NPCs and enemies, use it with the proper long range sniper scope.
    • In a weird cross between in universe and Meta Game,it is not unusual to see experienced players specialize in a particular role with their own, custom made variations on loadouts, weapons and accessories, especially if they're part of a unit or group that regularly plays with mods that allow multiple combinations. It takes deep knowledge of the game engine and the performance of all the equipment to do this well, but some seemingly nonsensical loadouts can prove to be very effective.
  • Alien Space Bats: Actual aliens in the Contact expansion show up to fight the NATO-backed Livonian Defense Forces and Russian Spetsnaz. In a meta sense, some fans saw the announcement of the new expansion as this.
  • A.K.A.-47: ARMA 3 has as few proper names of anything as possible, although interestingly enough, quite a few of those are officially described as being descendants or successors — or even a ripoff, in the case of the Zafirnote  — of the originals. The Apex DLC zig-zags this with the local Syndikat criminal faction; the various AKs they use go by their regular names, while their sidearm, a Makarov PMM, is identified as the earlier PM, and the Mk 46 goes as the "LIM-85".
  • Ambiguous Situation: III's Laws Of War DLC mission lampshades this: Inside an AAF-held town besieged by NATO and the FIA, an autonomous AAF drone vehicle goes haywire and guns down a car full of civilians, necessitating the player to destroy it. Upon investigating the scene further, the player finds the operator's terminal, and realises that that the AAF operators have already been killed by a NATO artillery strike. The player then stumbles upon the corpse of an FIA guerilla holding a jammer. Mission Control at that point realises that it will now become impossible to conclusively prove who or what caused the drone to kill those civilians: the NATO strike killing its operators, the FIA soldier interfering with the signal, or the AAF operators themselves.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Practically a staple of the series. The AI is abysmal. Pathfinding is always an issue, and the AI often takes very... odd routes to waypoints. AI squadmates under your control rarely follow orders, stopping every 5 feet to pick their nose (or whatever they are doing). AT soldiers don't seem to have much awareness as to where you are, and will usually blow up a vehicle you are standing right next to and are trying to blow up with explosives. They also get immensely confused in tight spaces, which is something of a leftover from Operation Flashpoint. In truth, the AI has evolved little with each engine change.
    • ARMA II has problems with waypoint finding, and requires some tweaking for patrolling soldiers to acknowledge that their comrades are suddenly dying from your own sniper shots.
    • ArmA III is host to many of these issues, but it is far more noticeable in the Zeus game mode. What may have seemed like artificial brilliance as a soldier on the ground is now shattered and shown as the AI bugging out tremendously as you can now see them from overhead. Soldiers never follow Zeus' orders once they get locked into combat, and once they are locked in the only way to get them out is by having every enemy soldier die and having them sound the "all clear".
  • Anachronic Order: The Apex story begins In Medias Res. The first mission is chronologically the fourth, after which it jumps back to show How We Got Here, before the rest of the story picks up where it left off from the fifth mission onward.
  • Anyone Can Die: Almost every important character in ARMA III can die especially if you go for the Miller ending.
  • Attack Drone: Arma 3 offers many opportunities for violent robotic mayhem in fixed-wing, rotorcraft and landborne flavours.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: It's more than possible to defeat some vehicles using just small arms; for example, a helicopter can be forced into a crash landing by shooting out either of its rotors. It's still way harder than it sounds since it depends heavily on weapon calibernote  and amazing skillnote . Particularly with the case of helicopters since, while they're in flight, there's little to no point of reference in the background to calculate their current distance or flight speed.
  • Author Appeal:
    • One of the factions included in Operation Arrowhead is the Czech 601st Special Forces Group, and the third/final of the ARMA II DLCs is named "Army of the Czech Republic". Ironically though, it's noticeably the least polished and lowest-effort of the three.
    • The developer behind the Zeus DLC also is known to be a fanboy of the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter — which made it into Arma 3 despite its real-world cancellation, renamed the AH-99 Blackfoot.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Boy, that 1.35m long .50 BMG rifle sure looks awesome, but I hope you feel comfy laying down, 'cause you ain't gonna be running around too much with 14kg worth of weapon weighting you down (and that's not counting the spare magazines; there's a reason why a soldier in The Squad has an ammo-bearer rolenote )
    • The GPMG as noted above is another. While light machine guns are already heavy, these things are a step above them since they fire what are essentially sniper rifle rounds, powerful enough to punch through MRAP doors and attack helicopter's windscreen and hit whoever hiding behind them. While they are powerful and accurate, getting your sights on the enemy can be another matter unless you already find a good spot to put the bipod down. Chances are you won't be able to carry anything else if you have one of these weapons since even the ammo are ridiculously heavy.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Any player that actually stops to think for a second. Given that the game is a military simulator rather than a straight up shoot 'em up FPS, if the enemy is half competent and knows what they're doing, then they'll likely act in predictable patterns: Flightpaths and LZs, positions to hole up and/or fortify, troops disposition. And just standing and looking at them tells a lot: loadouts and vehicles used can tell where they're heading, their targets, what they're planning to do, etc. Running head first into the fray is usually a guaranteed bullet in the head, however, being patient, thinking and planning what you're going to do beyond running, shooting, repeat if necessary will actually multiply effectiveness to a surprising degree.
  • Battle Royale Game: The ARMA community ended up modding in the first known example of the Battle Royale in video games. Players have to find their equipment, but have to deal with an encroaching circle of radioactive fog.
  • Beneath Notice: In a way. The protagonists of the Apex campaign are running cyber warfare operations in the South China Sea, and NATO is there for a politically-motivated humanitarian mission. They're completely unaware of the Viper unit. CSAT elite forces specializing in toppling goverments and destabilizing nations. They used the Eastwind device to cause the tsunami and they were funding the Syndikat terrorists until they stole the device for ransom, which Viper and CTRG now fight to recover. Indeed, they're packing up and ready to leave by the time NATO learns about their existence, their mission all but accomplished. Interestingly, it is explicitly stated that Viper doesn't give two shits about CTRG or NATO, or their operations in the area, and indeed, they only engage them when they stand in their way of recovering the Eastwind device.
  • BFG: Several would qualify (and that's leaving mods out of it) for different reasons.
    • The Navid and the SPMG are Medium machine guns. Even the bullets they fire are so huge and heavy that you can't carry a second spare bullet box without getting too encumbered to run.
    • The ASP-1 Kir doesn't look particularly big or imposing (it's kinda goofy looking with its oversized barrel), but the bullet is so big and heavy, and it hits so hard that shipping crates become concealment rather than cover.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Where to begin, where to begin...
    • In ARMA II, the occupying Chedaki force speaks faux Russian, while the native Chernarussian inhabitants speak faux Czech, including names and voiceovers: A Chernarussian officer named Lt. Tomáš Marný ("Thomas Hopeless", or even more literally "that's hopeless" in Czech), a civilian named Pepa Zdepa ("Joe from-the-Depot"), etc. You may occasionally hear Chernarussian civilians say things like "Potím se jak vrata vod chlíva..." ("I'm sweating like a cowshed gate...").
    • Apart from that, most if not all of the names of Chernarussian towns and landmarks are of Russian origin. The castle hill Zub literally means "Tooth", the peninsula Golova means "Head" (and both are just two of many anatomic names in Chernarus). Other names are the Pobeda Dam (the "Victory" Dam), and Stary Sobor and Novy Sobor ("Old Church" and "New Church"). The two major cities of Zagoria (which itself loosely means "Place Behind The Mountains"), Chernogorsk and Elektrozavodsk, can be loosely translated as "Place of the Black Mountain" and "Place of the Electric Power Plant"note , the former of which alludes to the country's name of Chernarus (lit. "Black Rus", riffing on Belarus, aka "White Rus").
    • In ARMA 3, there is a tactical vest that reads "Greek police", while the OPFOR faction officer's revolver is a Chiappa Rhino under the name Zubr... which is Czech for bison... although also Arabic slang for a phallus.
    • Also, "arma" is both the Latin term for "weapon" and the in-universe codename for "armed assault".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Two out of the three possible Old Man endings
    • Escape with Miller and let the CTRG have the cure: CSAT's Bioweapon program is exposed to the world and they are forced to withdraw from Tanoa under international pressure, in addition they are under even more scrutiny than ever before. However, the CTRG didn't manage to contact someone with good knowledge of the disease like Dr Drábek fast enough, leading to many deaths due to the late arrival of the cure.
    • Give the cure to Dr Drábek: Dr Drábek managed to reproduce the cure quickly and allowed a global organization to distribute it to the sick in the region, saving many lives. However with Miller dead nobody knows the truth about the origin of the disease and allows to CSAT rebuild the destroyed facility and continue their bioweapon program.
  • Bland-Name Product: Bluking, Redstone, Michurin, among others.
  • Boring, but Practical: Marksman rifles in the third game. Normally in games, assault rifles are used in around 100 meters and "sniping" consists of shooting around twice that distance. In ARMA, snipers are actually supposed to engage in distances of kilometers, and assault rifles have effective ranges of 200 - 500 metersnote . Marksman rifles are made to close that gap between the two types of gun by being able to engage at up to 900 meters without losing too much effectiveness in close quarters. With hybrid sights (a scope with a collimator on top), a larger caliber and more stopping power, plus the ability to reliably engage long distance targets, make these kind of weapons an all around good choice, its only drawback being the magazine size, usually capping at 20 rounds, but it's not really significant to a skilled user.
  • Bottle Episode: The Laws Of War campaign takes place exclusively in the town of Oreokastro and its countryside, showing chronically through playable flashbacks the different time periods from the cheerful pre-war peace time, to its ruined, mine-infested post-war present.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece:
    • In the editor, the Chernarussian resistance (the "guerrillas" faction) have access to the T-34 tank, an iconic Soviet design from the Second World War. Certainly quite an antique to field in the early 21st century. note 
    • Interestingly, while most of the weapons and vehicles in 3 are based in existing designs, the AAF's assets is entirely based on equipment currently in use by different armies, however, by the time of the game's setting, they have become 2nd rate technology, which is normal for low cost armies to have.
  • The Bully: The Altis Armed Forces of Arma III in a nutshell. Their modus operandi is basically either A) attack the local population (guerrillas or not be damned) and then being bailed out by their NATO allies or B) Being bailed out of a sticky situation by NATO and then lashing out on the civilian population.
  • Canon Welding: Shares the same Like Reality, Unless Noted fictional universe with the original Operation Flashpoint series.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Zig-Zagged by Lieutenant Collins and Sergeant Sturrock in Steel Pegasus campaign. Collins is a just Crewman who ends up being the highest officer alive in the botched invasion, and given his blatant inexperience he's adamant of following his orders to the letter, no matter what. He is told to gather up the survivors in some RV point, and move them up to a safe zone. Sturrock is a Sergeant Rock solely by virtue of being technically outranked despite being The Leader of a spec-ops team and having vastly more field experience, who is forced to disobey often. Their first interaction is Sturrock and his team requesting some manpower to help fend off the attack on the RV flank, with collins refusing since his orders are simply to bring everybody to the RV
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: All over the place, given that it's practically mandatory to remain calm, even if bullets and explosions are flying around you, or else, no one is making it back, a few particular examples stand out though.
    Pariah: [during the briefing, mortar shells start falling inside the perimeter] Damn, I was really hoping it would take a bit longer for them to get a bead on us.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Rudwell's ability to speak both Polish and Russian is important later on, after all he signed up for the US Army as a linguist rather than drone operator.
  • China Takes Over the World: In Arma III, the Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty (CSAT), led by Iran and China, is growing in global influence, while the United States and NATO is on the decline.
  • Civil War: The basic Backstory behind most installments is that you're a foreign soldier helping restore peace and some semblance of order in war-torn countries. Subverted in III when the civil war is over by the time the time the game starts, but it starts again when NATO is forcefully kicked out of the country.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Pretty much this from Tanny.
  • Code Name: Squads are often automatically assigned a greek letter identification, with ArmA 3 allowing for different code name systems. In story, squads receive callsigns themselves, such as Razor Team, Howlite, etc. These callsigns slightly confused Cooper when told about what happened to "Red Square".
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted to hell and back in the third game. There are no man made impenetrable structures nor materials, although it depends heavily on caliber and distance, and the cover does help in deviating the bullets and slowing them down, making them less lethal. A 5.56 will barely penetrate even thin metal sheet, and not really do much damage to the target behind it. A 9.3 caliber machine gun, on the other hand will make short work of most covers up to 400m, and in close range or point blank? you might as well flight or fight, cause you sure as hell can't hide from her.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 'Operation Flashpoint, and ARMA'', both take place in the same mildly fictional Alternate Universe. So aside of the most meta elements like the soundtracks, elements like the ION PMC, Vrana Corp. and a lot of details can be spotted if you look closed enough: The cyrus, for example, was made in Chernaurus.
    • The Malden 2035 map, is not just a remake of the Operation Flashpoint map, but mission briefings on Malden directly acknowledge the events of the game and what happened afterwards, explaining how the island ended within CSAT sphere of influence.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Averted all around. While the different sides may have equivalents (all have service rifles, main battle tanks, transport helicopters, trucks, etc) all their equipment, vehicles and even the individual gear of the soldiers will have different stats from one another, and some might be objectively better. Some sides in various games (the FIA, ChDKZ, NAPA, Syndikat and Takistani Militia) are guerrilla groups armed with outdate or improvised equipment.
  • Countrystan:
    • The second game features Takistan, a mash-up of Iraq and Afghanistan, ruled under obvious Saddam Hussein expy Muhammed R. Aziz.
    • Karzeghistan, a small oil-rich nation located south of Takistan. It appears only in the backstory (although the map "Shapur" is said to be located in the border) as a stand-in for Kuwait.
  • Crew of One: Averted, you need both a driver and a gunner at the very least to properly operate armoured fighting vehicles of any kind, while the commander's movement controls are the same as the driver's, albeit corresponding to said verbal orders. Unfortunately they can become even more repetitive than the infamous Mad Libs Dialogue, so in missions with waypoints the unit orders menu does include "Next waypoint" in its movement submenu.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A couple of weapons in the third game fall squarely into this, being very situational at best:
    • The SDAR 5.56x45 is a rifle that can fire specialized ammo in underwater firefights, but is useless on the surface, being lethal only if both fighters are underwater and in short range. It is alleviated somewhat by being able to use normal 5.56 magazines, becoming a regular (if weak) assault rifle, although it forces players to choose which ammo type should they prioritize in taking with them, making it this trope.
    • The ASP-1 Kir is a sniper rifle made specifically for heavy armor penetration in total silence by using a big and heavy bullet fired at subsonic velocity. So while it is completely silent in the truest sense of the word, it also means that the effective range is reduced to 200 meters at best, and the zero calibration (the distance in which the bullet will hit the center of the scope) must be extremely precise. The bullet, being heavier, will only travel a very short distance after the zero distance, and traveling slowly means that to reach the zero it must travel in a very high arc. In other words being five meters short or long of the target means the bullet will miss it completely.note 
    • Some gamemodes, and mods like the wasteland or the epochmod tends to turn many if not most loadouts into this, especially if you take a lone wolf approach. To elaborate, unless you camp and scavenge your enemies constantly (a gamble, at best), you will be roaming both countryside and cities in order to survive. The problem is that a loadout for urban warfare such as submachine guns and assault rifles is mostly useless when engaging in the long range countryside, and the long range sniper rifles with low rate of fire are a death sentence in CQB. The safest bet is being part of a group or using a marksman rifle with hybrid sights. A very Jack of All Stats loadout if used properly.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: The Contact scenario for ARMA III begins In Medias Res, with a squad of NATO troopers engaged with Livonian forcesnote  after losing their APC and instructed to proceed on-foot to disable some Livonian UGVs. The squad fights their way to the local control station, the drone specialist goes into the building and overrides the UGVs, then gunfire from outside, and the specialist turns to find a Lavonian rifleman in the door with a gun trained on him. He makes a quip about them getting extra points for shooting them in the back, so the rifleman fires a couple of training rounds into the specialist's chest and says, "There, I shot you in the front." Queue the debriefing from the exercise.
  • Decoy Protagonist:
    • In the beginning ARMA II player controls an unnamed Chernarussian soldier. It is actually revealed to be a dream of Cooper, the actual protagonist.
    • In the prologue missions of Arma 3 (which act as a tutorial for the most part) and some showcases you will play as several named characters with a specific role (marksman, machinegunner, scout) and rank. Most of these same characters return as supporting characters or cameos in the main campaign in which you play only as Corporal Kerry, although since your interactions with NPCs is very limited in the main campaign, it's hard to notice.
  • Desert Warfare: The maps introduced in Arma 2's Operation Arrowhead are desert maps inspired on Iraqi and Afghan geogrpahy. South Sahrani in Arma 1 has a big desert in a section of the map (as well South Sahrani troops use desert-based camouflage) but it also has semi-arid plains and coniferous forests.
  • Doomed by Canon: The Loyalist Forces in the Beyond Hope scenario. The Mission ends with a substantial success and in a positive note. However, we know from the Eastwind campaign, and as the title screen is quick to remind you, the war would last for a decade, with the Loyalist destroyed after five years and five more of guerrilla warfare in which the AAF will rule with an iron fist and the civilian population would take the brunt of the attack.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun:
    • Perfected even more since the time of OFP. ARMA II makes it impossible to shoot while running, as your character will start a jogging animation after moving for a second with their arms being occupied - to shoot while moving, you must either aim down your weapon sights (limiting your character to walking speed like many shooter games) or hold the walk button so that your character can "hipfire"; even then, there's considerable weapon/crosshair bobbing, so you don't get a stable point of aim unless the character is stationary.
    • Tweaked in ARMA 3, where you can't sprint/run with a raised gun but you can do a "combat pace" jog with your weapon raised... not much faster than the walk and the most fatigue-building short of sprint, but the closest ever in the series to other shooters' "hipfire" movement speed.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • An odd example would be ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead (itself a standalone expansion) having British Armed Forces and Private Military Company; OA already has the character types and weapons used in the DLC, but they have low-quality textures and sound quality, so BAF and PMC are not just additional campaigns (one each) but also higher-quality textures and sounds for their characters/weapons that are already in OA.
    • BI adopted a different approach in the third installment to avoid breaking the player base: basically every DLC is an update with many features (such as advanced flight model for Helicopters or bipods for Marksmen) and the Premium content (actual new weapons and vehicles) is available only if the purchase is made, but you can share the same servers with players who do have it.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The Altis Armed Forces are not amused that NATO has them use CSAT targets in their firing drills. Adams claims it's all they have on hand, though it's Sgt. Adams we're talking about here. Keep in mind that, at the time, CSAT and NATO are basically in a bidding war to secure an alliance with the AAF.

    E - O 
  • Easy Logistics:
    • Averted in the Arma 3 campaign both in gameplay and plot. In the first act, the player is the survivor of a small decommissioned task force, while in the second, he's a full member of the local guerrillas. Not only half the missions in both acts consist of securing supplies such as weapons and fuel (as well as moving camps to avoid detection) but the armory is limited: there are only standard rifles and small calibers, small and weak optics and almost no AT or AA capabilities, no thermal binoculars, etc. Forcing you to scavenge weapons, attachments and ammo in raids and side missions. The third act is a little less so, but it's clear, in the briefings and debriefings, that the invasion is taking a heavy toll on the damaged western economy which limits the heavier elements available and command's willingness to expose them to combat, not to mention that the arrival of those elements to the theater of operations must wait until the landing zone is secured.
    • On the vehicle side of things, these need to be refueled, rearmed and repaired as necessary and none of those can be done without personnel and facilities (fuel trucks and stations, ammo trucks and boxes, engineers with toolkits and repair trucks). Also no Hyperspace Arsenal. Meaning you'll be backtracking to base often.
  • Earthquake Machine: In Arma 3, "the device" is implied to be one, and the Apex expansion confirms it, though it is never seen used as a weapon onscreen. It is eventually revealed that it is what caused the tsunami humanitarian crisis in Tanoa.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous:
    • In Arma II, the main protagonists are members of "Razor Team", a squad of the Marine Force Recon. In the Operation Arrowhead campaign, some missions you play as Sergeant First Class Terry Graves, a Delta Force operator, although the rest of the campaign also involves a normal Infantryman, an attack helicopter pilot and a tank commander.
    • Averted in III:
      • In the first chapter, Miller and his team openly admit to be Special Forces and performing clandestine operations in the country (as in, they're there illegally). While this is no secret to the survivors of the original Task Force, who are just low rank grunts, the Brits also make it clear that they're not telling them their real mission objectives, nor what exactly are they doing there, which makes the rest of the troops uneasy on their presence and the shady dealings with the local guerrillas, even though they have no choice but to work with them.
      • In the second chapter when the task force is no more, and only Kerry remains alive, it is revealed that not only they have worked with the resistance before (as in when NATO and the AAF were allies) but that they're more in numbers and have been active longer than previously thought, their true motives still not established (the locals think they're there to help and Miller doesn't confirm nor deny this but it is implied from the start that it is not the case). Even then Kerry is not allowed to join them and is just subtly dumped with the guerrillas, still being kept in the dark. It culminates in the third and last chapter when Kerry finds out that NATO doesn't have any British special forces team operating in the area, and doesn't even have any Captain Miller on record. So Kerry is accused of having deserted, and Miller and his team are not recognized as friendlies. All in all, the black ops come looking pretty badly here, with Miller in particular having sociopathically sent the entire task force survivors to their deaths, and sacrificing the resistance high command to cover his tracks.
    • Played straighter in Apex, where you play as a member of a NATO special forces team tasked with assisting the local government in ending the threat of the Syndikat. The DLC also introduces the "Vipers", a CSAT special forces group with high-tech gear sporting a decidedly ninja-esque look. However, Miller appears in the DLC as well, and it's eventually revealed that the player characters are in the CTRG, the same unit Miller is in. The DLC also reveals that said unit is indeed NATO special forces. This places the Apex NATO cast firmly within the gray compared to the Vipers.
    • In the Contact campaign, the main enemy force introduced is the "223rd Special Purpose Detachment" of the Russian Spetsnaz. Except they're not actually against you; outside of incidental encounters prior to their reveal, the 223rd is entirely allied to NATO forces for the duration of the First Contact campaign, knowing the threat of the alien core's detonation.
    • The CTRG return again in Old Man, and despite returning to Tanoa, they're not the shade of grey they were there. Group 14, to be specific, is deployed to the region to investigate "Atrox", the malaria super-strain unleashed there, and Miller serves as 'Santiago''s handler. Ultimately, CSAT is treated as the grey this time around, as Group 14 chooses to abandon the Horizon Islands after getting the Atrox counteragent. Admittedly, their reasoning is sound this time around; they only have a small sample of it, and they don't have the facilities needed for production, though the ending that follows the CTRG does have NATO return with full production of the counteragent, and combined with the evidence Santiago dug up, CSAT is left on the backfoot, though at the cost of substantial causalities before NATO's arrival.
  • Elite Mooks: CSAT is this to the AAF in the Arma 3 campaign, as their soldiers are more well-trained and their equipment more advanced. When they are seen in the last mission of Survive, the reaction of everyone is a Mass "Oh, Crap!".
  • Enemy Mine: The final mission of Contact has the stranded US troops fighting alongside Russians against the Too Dumb to Live LDF.
  • Evil Brit: In one of the endings to ARMA 3's campaign, Miller threatens to murder Kerry. When CSAT invades, he says he'll help get him off the island. He doesn't.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Arma 3's Laws of War mini-campaign, one of the flashbacks centers around what was supposedly a CSAT Viper team called in by the AAF to break the guerrillas' stronghold with a cluster bomb. A optional objective centers around a IDAP doctor who'd gone out in the fighting, requiring you to wait for a bit before he heads back to the church. If done, Nathan mentions the doctor was lucky given that they couldn't have delayed the strike just for him. To add to the decision, the 'CSAT' team is implied at the end to actually have been CTRG Group 14, led by Miller. Yes, the same Miller who abandons Kerry in the main campaign and continues his amoral behaviour beyond that.
  • Evil Counterpart: The CSAT's Viper in APEX is this to the NATO's CTRG, relatively speaking.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Not counting the bootcamp prequel minicampaign, the AAF first appearance sets the tone for what you can expect from them: Massive incompetence (they forgot to bring a map on patrol, and now they are lost in the countryside), needless brutality (five unarmed civilians gunned down solely on suspicions of being guerrillas), and a bad habit of calling for foreign help when trouble arises (despite being in supposed enemy territory and with a man bleeding to death, they haven't even secured the perimeter nor call for medevac, but simply called the american instructor to come and pick them up).
    • For contrast, the British special forces make a subtle yet impressive entrance. Arriving to the rendezvous point you see an armored patrol (armored vehicle with a mounted grenade launcher plus five or six men) disable and AAF corpses everywhere. Realizing that the Brits must be near, your teammates warns them that they're coming and to hold fire. Cue massive Oh, Crap! when you're welcomed (not on the radio) and five heavily armed soldiers emerge from hiding right next to you.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism:
    • In some cases, even higher than in Operation Flashpoint (which is saying something). Of course, several mods exist to tweak these values. Most notably is the need for zeroing your aim even with Small arms and not just sniper rifles (I.E. Pistols have a zero of 50 meters, which means that if the target is beyond that, you'll have to compensate for bullet drop, with a pistol).
  • Faction Calculus: Similar to its predecessor, the games typically feature 3 factions in the gameplay, usually with different gear at their disposal. Although it is somewhat lessened due to the fact that the games use real factions and vehicles (even ArmA III Despite its futuristic setting, as most of the vehicles and weapons are just rebrandings or updates of existing ones)
    • In ArmA II it went like this:
      • The US forces are Powerhouse, Russia and the CDF qualify as Balanced, and the ChDKZ are subversive. For Operation Arrowhead, US is again powerhouse, the Takistani military is Balanced, and the Insurgents are subversive.
    • In ArmA III it is a bit muddier, as the three main factions (NATO, AAF, and CSAT) all have equal vehicle equivalents, but roughly speaking NATO is more of a Balanced Cannons (because of their better artillery), CSAT is Balanced Powerhouse (Arguably better helicopter gunships and AFVs), AAF is Balanced, and FIA is Subversive, although as stated this is a very loose interpretation and for the most part the factions are on equal footing compared to ArmA II.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: The first mission in the Apex Campaign works as a sort of Cold Open to introduce the players to the new expansion gameplay and map (the mission description reads "the sun rises over the Horizon Islands") and to its credit, it works pretty well, mostly. After taking down an isolated outpost you must trek a few hundred meters to the next objective through the countryside of the beautiful map, and the sun rises over the beautiful landscape while the new version of the main theme slowly swells up creating a beautiful and breathtaking organic scene, all in-game with no need of cutscenes or interrupting the player experience. Except you're still in a warzone, deep in enemy territory with patrols and isolated tangos scattered all over the damn island, so chances are you'll be distracted focusing on sneaking through, or worse, you'll be so taken in by the moment than you may screw up and be spotted, cutting the moment short with a hail of gunfire heading your way or just plainly dropping dead with a bullet between the eyes.
  • Fair-Weather Friend:: It's obvious near the end, that CSAT is not in Altis out of the goodness of their hearts. At first they bail out the AAF a couple of times. but when NATO invades in force, they simply let the AAF take the brunt of the attack while they quietly defend and retreat to a northern seemingly empty region. Turns out they're developing an experimental new weapon in that region and the AAF has been essentially a meatshield to buy them time while they develop it and cover their tracks.
  • False Flag Operation: The final mission of the Black Gauntlet campaign for the Private Military Company DLC ends in this. The team discovers that the Takistani nuclears arms program was supported by China, the executives of Ion tell the team to disguise themselves as Insurgents and ambush the UN inspectors before they can publish the evidence.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Averted on a macroscopic scale in Contact. In the credits, scientists speculate how the aliens were able to arrive on earth so soon after the initial release of encoded neutrino messages by Exercise Electron. One theory states that the aliens had begun their journey hundreds of thousands of years ago, and were able to time their arrival for just after the neutrinos began to be released by the root network. A second theory, based on the idea of neutrino time travel, speculates that the aliens were acting in response to acausal information - that the neutrinos were traveling backwards in time from the moment of their release and so reached the alien homeworld prior to being sent. Either way, the aliens themselves were restricted to light speed when traveling.
  • A Father to His Men: Brian Frost from the British Armed Forces and Private Military Company DLC expansions says that the troops he was commanding were like sons to him.
  • Fauxrrari: The British Armed Forces in Operation Arrowhead get the "offroad" vehicle, a Hand Over Offender. Totally not a Land Rover Defender.
  • First-Person Ghost: Averted. Players can even hold a key to look away from their point of aim to see their entire body, or use a TrackIR device that essentially adds a head based motion-based control option for free look.
  • Foreshadowing: Perceptive players may notice several discrepancies in the first act of the campaign that may be weird but are quickly overshadow by events of greater/more immediate importance (survival being the main concern of the player at the time) but at the end of the campaign make perfect sense in hindsight. The first mission however, contains several clues (very subtle ones, to the point that it may require a second playthrough to notice) that something major is going down behind the scenes, such as the AAF attacking minutes after an unknown NATO force lands on an already decommissioned base, or that tremors start just after CSAT presence is spotted on the island.
    • In Contact it was discussed in an early briefing that the Russians may invade Livonia and most of the plan was for such defense with the US forces acting as the stand-in for invading Russians. Later on they do invade Livonia but for a very good reason with the stranded US soldiers instead having to fight for the Russians instead of helping the LDF. Of course in the previous 2 missions you can find Russians doing exactly what the stranded US troops are doing, except they are much less subtle about it.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Invoked by CSAT in the third game: Their basic Rifleman is very lightly armored without even a faction specific bulletproof vest, just a helmet and some built-in bullet resistance in their uniforms. This means trading less durability for much more stamina and, therefore, mobility.
    • In one of the few constants present in almost all games and gamemodes, choosing loadouts is usually up to every player who must balance between protection, firepower or mobility, with the defining factor ideally being his role in the team and his objectives in the mission.
  • Friendly Sniper: Lt. James in the third game, Miller's right hand man is quite friendly with you and the Task Force survivors, and uses his signature Mk14 EBR, a Marksman rifle. Although he uses combat optics rather than a sniper scope, he still fulfills the role. Unless you see Miller as the bad guy, which means he's The Dragon.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: NATO really doesn't like the AAF as allies given their brutality, incompetence and overly inflated ego, and CSAT is only backing them up to develop their new weapon safely. Once it is completed, they don't even doubt for a second in abandoning the island and leaving their "allies" to deal with NATO. Predictably without the support of either, they surrender instantly.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In 2035 CSAT is a coalition of governments comprised of China, Iran, and several smaller countries form northern and lower Asia
  • Future Copter: Arma 3 is full of those, with the UH-80 Ghost Hawk and AH-99 Blackfoot looking the most futuristic. Subverted because all them are based on real-life prototypes. The only exception played straight with Apex exapansion's CSAT Pacific futuristic VTOL aircraft Y-32 Xi'an, looking something straight out of a Military Science Fiction setting.
  • Game Master: Introduced with the Zeus free DLC for Arma 3, multiplayer missions created with Zeus support (by placing a module in the Editor) can have a player in the role of "Zeus", either alongside or separately from other players; in the latter mode s/he can't exit the interface but isn't represented in the game worldnote  and is therefore invulnerable.
  • Game Mod:
    • Has a very dedicated worldwide modding community that can already rival that of the original Operation Flashpoint, and some mods are even direct descendants of Operation Flashpoint versions. Arma 3 takes this to the logical extreme: the CUP project is a group that worked (and still does), to port the entirety of the Arma series content (weapons, vehicles, gear, and maps) to Arma 3. That is, the entirety of the game sans campaigns, for players and modders to use. And almost any country with a certain amount of players is likely making or already has made a mod with it's own army as a playable faction.
    • The by-far most famous and possibly most influential of all though is the Zombie Apocalypse mod called DayZ... it's about as realistic as a zombie-infested, fictional Eastern European country can get, single-handedly caused a spike in ArmA II sales, and its modder (a contractor who did mo-cap/MP mission design for Arma 3) was hired and made project lead of a standalone game version of the mod. Ironically, he initially kept his involvement in the project under wraps from his Bohemia Interactive co-workers, feeling that the subject matter was embarrassingly unlike what the company was known for.
    • Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene created two mods, DayZ: Battle Royale for Arma 2: DayZ and PlayerUnknowns Battle Royale for Arma 3, and later created Player Unknowns Battlegrounds as a standalone version of his ARMA mods.
    • The Arma III community has notably produced Battle royale, King of the Hill (a team based deathmatch with weapon purchasing, unlock and exp system) and ExileMod (a multiplayer mod with crafting, survival and base building, zombies depending on the server).
  • Gas Leak Cover Up: In the second mission of the Contact scenario, the area around the old factory where some guided munitions went off-target during the training exercise the previous mission has been evacuated off all personnel not wearing hazardous environment gear, citing an old landfill the factory was built over which contained a lot of toxic nasty compounds which are now aerosolized by the explosion. But as Stype points out, that factory was built on the site of an old sawmill, not a landfill, so that's not likely the real story. It is in fact a fabrication to keep people away from the alien artifact the explosion uncovered without blowing the whole thing wide open.
  • The Generalissimo: A recurring trope in the series:
    • Prime-Minister Torrez of the Democratic Republic of Sahrani (DSR), who orders the invasion of the Southern monarchy.
    • Former President of the DSR Ramirez/Richardicz, the supposedly died before the events of Armed Assault. Who was actually alive and hiding in Rahmadi, directing the invasion from the shadows.
    • Colonel (later President) Muhammad R. Aziz, a pretty obvious Saddam Hussein expy. He led a socialist coup to overthrow the old Takistani monarchy. Ruling the country for two decades with an iron fist. After the country's lucrative oil wells and refineries are sabotaged by CIA-backed pro-royalist rebels, he attempts to invade the southern neighbour country of Karzeghistan and results into a UN-sanctioned NATO invasion and in his death.
    • Georgious Akhanteros, commander-in-chief of the AAF and de facto president of the Republic of Altis and Stratis.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The CSAT infantryman in III has little armor (no bulletproof vest, just pouches and a heavy armor helmet) which means more stamina and speed, however they carry heavier LMGs and 3 rounds grenade launchers. Their vehicles also follow the same pattern of faster but with ligher armor than their NATO counterparts.
    • Tanks in the first ARMA and ARMA 2, which would blow up with a couple hits from even an RPG.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • In Black Gauntlet campaign for ARMA 2: Private Military Contractors, China is revealed to be this as not only they're the main benefactors for the Takistani nuclear program but they're also the who orders ION and Mark Reynolds to put the lid on the discovery by assassinating the UN inspectors.
    • CSAT in the III campaign. Most of the immediate fighting you do in the campaign is against the AAF, with only the occasional skirmish against CSAT.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Definitely the case for First Contact DLC campaign. The LDF are Well Intentioned Extremists who are motivated by misguided beliefs to prevent alien incursion on their country. And the Americans and Russians who knows better are trying to stop them from destroying the alien core that would potentially led to the devastation of a large chunk of Europe at best and the entire Earth at worst. While the aliens are mostly keeping by themselves and only retaliates against NATO and LDF forces after the latter mistaking them to be hostile and opens fire.
  • Gun Porn:
    • Thanks to various addons, the games can include everything from Gauss Rifles, G11s, and Pulse Rifles. The basic list of the firearms already present in the vanilla version of the game is also pretty extensive; a lot of the Arma 2 list consisted of variants with attachments though (i.e. M16A4, M16A4 ACOG, M16A4 M203), while the weapons list in Arma 3 is smaller due to its mostly modular attachment systemnote .
    • Although with mods, the list expands considerably. The CUP (Community Upgrade Project) for starters, has upgraded the entire arsenal (vehicles and gear included) of the previous Arma games to Arma 3, with the modular attachment system perfectly functional, to official items quality levels. That alone triples the amount of content, and its just one mod.note 
    • Note that this can actually be a bad thing: weapons look and act realistically and some times its hard to say at first glance without a detailed examination and/or practice, the weapon's role (Some heavy machineguns can actually be smaller than some assault rifles), strengths and weaknesses, leading to using them incorrectly, in impractical situations or just inefficiently.
  • He Knows Too Much: It's implied in one of the endings that Stavrou's death by friendly fire was engineered on purpose due to this trope. If you also play Tac Ops and Laws of War, it is pretty clear to see why.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The CSAT faction in Arma 3 is seriously obsessed with hexagons: its logo is a hexagon made of smaller hexagons, and its vehicles even adopt a hexagonal camo pattern, which overall contrasts the plainer colour schemes of NATO gear.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted with a vengeance in Arma II and 3. Darkness means just that: pitch-black darkness. If your character has neither NV capable equipment (NVG, rangefinder/designator, NV capable scopes) nor an attached flashlight, and you're far from any artificial light sources at night (meaning: practically every location outside a city/settlement or military camp, particularly about 80% of Takistan and Stratis), you will not be able to see anything, period.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Played straight in ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead. Averted completely in the third game, although the degree of effectiveness varies between weapons and size of bullets. Suppressors only make it harder for the enemy to find the direction the shot is coming from, but it will not remove the bullet whiz sound.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: Averted, mostly. The parachute can be opened at any altitude, but it will need a certain amount of time to deploy fully, and to slow down enough to land safely. They can be steered and pitched forward, though if sped up too much the landing can still be fatal. The only artistic license is the use of parachutes in helicopters, which usually fly too low to deploy them and rely on shock absorbing technology.
  • How We Got Here: The Apex campaign starts In Medias Res with the raider teams in the first mission attempting to secure... something without knowing if they succeeded or not. The next few missions fall under this trope.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick:
    • While Colonel Akhanteros looks like a General Failure most of the time, in Laws of War, it is said that Major Gavras is actually the one that has been doing most of the work and what allowed the AAF to hold out for 3 days rather than 1. Gavras also used his command staff, including himself, as a decoy to draw NATO-FIA forces away from his retreating troops.
    • Kael Mavros, is a former Rebel (precursor to the AAF) and defector to the loyalists. Being high ranked, having a ton of experience and spec op training, he ends up being able to fulfill whatever role the loyalist need him to.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted. As in OFP, you can only carry as much equipment, weaponry and ammo as your webbing or backpack allowsnote . Too big or heavy weapons take up a far bigger slotnote  than a combination of several smaller ones and they also slow you down a little if you're running.
  • Indy Ploy: In most singleplayer campaigns and scenarios, the player is usually tasked with an objective and informed about the general situation around it, but it's up to him to make his own decision and plans. However, the rule of thumb is "no plan survives contact with the enemy". So, either single player or multiplayer, while having a plan B is usually a good idea, sooner or later you'll have to make things up on the fly and start thinking on your feet. And then, well... there are other schools of thought:
    Mavros: Okay, so what's your plan?
    Lt. James: The plan? I don't know! We mostly just make shit up as we go along.
  • I Call It "Vera": Dixon's aforementioned "Matilda".
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted - unless you get shot point-blank in the head. You can die very easily, in just a few shots, but you usually only get injured in certain parts of your body, which affects your overall combat abilities. Getting shot in the legs makes you unable to walk.
  • Interservice Rivalry:
    • Invoked in the first game, where army soldiers express embarrassment at having to be rescued by USMC air power.
    • In the Apex campaign, CTRG is not really fond of NATO, it's assets or it's personnel. US and British army regulars on the other hand, have no idea who the hell these CTRG guys are.
  • In-Universe Marketing: Several good examples (i.e. AAN News Online), but the viral marketing of the first ARMA game via a fictional blog of an in-game character takes the cake... There's also a hefty dose of Continuity Nod towards Operation Flashpoint in all these Viral Marketing materials (to nearly Continuity Porn levels).
  • Joke Character:
    • There is a T-34 tank available in ARMA IIs Armory and Editor (in the case of the Editor, as it's an armored vehicle of the NAPA faction).
    • This accounts also for the WWI era Sopwith Camel biplane included in ArmAnote , which is quickly gunned down even by handguns and mainly serves for fun dogfights in multiplayer; ditto for the DC-3, a classic airliner.
    • With plenty of mods installed, you can quickly turn various WWII and Vietnam-era factions into this. Have fun pitting Nazis with KAR-98s and nothing more than the uniforms on their backs against US Special Forces with SCAR-Hs, XM8s and body armor.
    • In-universe (and out) the AAF is widely seen as laughably incompetent and poorly armed.
      • Lethal Joke Character: the FIA has even worse equipment and weapons, yet consistently comes out on top of them, with clever planning and the population backing them up.
  • Jungle Warfare: Tanoa in the Apex expansion is a South Pacific island covered by a lust jungle. However, the map also includes a lot of open areas, small hamlets, a somewhat big city with buildings for Urban Warfare, and an specific place has a coriferous forest, probably built for the sawmill in the middle of it.
  • Just Plane Wrong: There are some glaring issues with ARMA 3's larger UAV. For starters, there's already an MQ-4 UAV (ARMA 3's is the MQ-4A) and they don't share much similarity. Second, it looks like it was made using riveted sheets of metal, when practically all UAVs are made with composite materials. Lastly, the engine cowl has a label that reads "DANGER: JET INLET", yet the UAV is a prop plane.
  • King Incognito: Kerry first meeting with the guerrillas is being the chauffeur for a small team of resistance fighters and being bossed around by a laid back dude full of tattoos, scruffy beard, a ponytail and a condescending attitude. That's commander Stavrou to you, leader of North Altis FIA cell, member of the FIA High Command and all around cool guy.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Brian Frost (protagonist of ARMA II: British Armed Forces and Private Military Company) becomes this, fully succumbing to cynicism by the time of PMC, and in Take On Helicopters he's implied to have participated in the cover-up with Mark Reynolds by assassinating UN inspectors, and moved on to become a head of operations for the ION PMC.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": Subverted by Adams' death in III. The mine goes "beep" when stepped on . . . and then explodes instantly with no chance of survival.
  • La Résistance:
    • ARMA II uses guerrillas as both enemies (the "Chedaks" faction of Chernarus) and potential allies (the troops of the "National Party", aka NAPA). You spend most of the campaign fighting irregular troops, unlike previous installments, where you mostly fought organized soldiers.
    • In ARMA 3, there's the FIA, a CIA/SIS-backed resistance group on Altis fighting the Iranian presence. in a subversion, in the prologue they are resisting the player, although the more you learn of your current allies, the more sympathetic they look, by mid game you're a full member.
      • Tac-ops DLC shows that the FIA is more than just a bunch of idealistic guerillas. They are born from the ashes of the loyalists of the previously overthrown government. That and James and some CTRG operatives were already with them since the start.
    • The Syndikat in APEX is a darker and more brutal example of this and is one of the two main antagonists of the APEX campaign. As of Old Man with the new Tanoan government become Les Collaborateurs to CSAT, the remaining Syndikat joined up with other movements to form the more political L'Ensemble which makes them antiheroic rather than outright villainous.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: Santiago, the protagonist of Old Man, is a Tanoan native and former French Legionnaire.
  • The Load: Without the support of either CSAT or NATO, The AAF is pretty useless for anything else than brutalizing the local population. The poorly armed resistance constantly has the upper hand on them until NATO bails them out, and even the task force handful of survivors has little problems kicking them out of Stratis until CSAT bails them out of that one too
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Armed Assault's and ARMA II's radio voiceovers of the individual soldiers kind of inherited this quality from Operation Flashpoint. Naturally, the somewhat unnatural sounding style of the voiceovers is caused by the daunting task of having to record each possible combination of a voiceover line separately (it would take ages and require thousands of voice files). There are some community-made mods in the works for replacing the original voice files with better dubbed ones, and ARMA 3 has done a little to smooth it out, though it's still there to a point.
  • Meaningful Name: In the first campaign mission of ArmA II, you and your squad are ordered to mark an enemy communication centre in the remote coastal town of Pusta for aerial bombardment. In the process, you will find that the rebels who occupied the town, massacred most of the townsfolk, and ditched them in mass graves on the outskirts. Now, for everyone who speaks Russian, the town's name foreshadows this unfortunate turn of events - as Pusta means "Empty" in Russian.
  • MacGuffin: The third Arma 3 campaign episode WIN has "the Device".
  • Mêlée à Trois: The scenario editor in all games (including Operation Flashpoint) makes it possible to deliberately invoke this - there are two sides that are always hostile, BLUFOR and OPFOR, and a third called "Indepedents" (Sometimes refered to GREENFOR or INDFOR) which can be set to be allied with either the BLUFOR, OPFOR, neither, or neutral to all. All games in the series have at least one faction for each of the three sides:
    • ARMA: Armed Assault has the US forces as BLUFOR, the Sahrani Liberation Army as OPFOR and the Royal Army Corps of Sahrani as the Indepedent faction. It should be noted that in the story mode the US Forces and the RACS are allied trough the entire campaign.
    • ARMA 2 has the US Marine Corps and the local Ruritania's army, the Chernarus Defense Forces as BLUFOR fighting against the communist insurgents of the CHDKZ (And later the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) as OPFOR, the indepedents are represented by the National Party, a small nationalistic guerilla fighting against both CHDKZ and the Government forces (which can be recruited later to fight against the CHDKZ).
    • ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead has the US Army, the British Armed Forces, German Bundeswehr and the Army of the Czech Republic as BLUFOR, fighting the Takistani Army as well pro-government militias as OPFOR, while INDFOR is formed by Indepedent Militias (a Palette Swap of the OPFOR militias), a Chernarusian contigent of UN Peacekeeping, and Ion Services, Inc.
    • ARMA 3 again has NATO as the BLUFOR faction, CSAT as OPFOR faction and the Altis Armed Forces as the Indepedent force. In the Prologue and very beggining of the game, both AAF and NATO are allied but after CSAT invades the island they convince the AAF leave their alliance with NATO in exchange of military and economical support. If the "Loyalty" ending is chosen CSAT evacuates and leaves the AAF behind, resulting in their surrender, however if the "Miller" ending is chosen the CTRG steals the device which leads to CSAT become desperate and attack both NATO and the AAF in retaliation.
      • Interestingly subverted in First Contact DLC campaign. The tensions between NATO and LDF regarding what to do with the alien ship in Nadbór as well as Russian intrusions into the Livonian territory seems to be building up for a three way confrontation between NATO, LDF and Russia. However, when the whole situation goes completely FUBAR, both NATO and the Russians realized that they have to put aside their differences and work together in order to stop the LDF, which led to the final confrontation of the campaign with NATO and Russia on one side against the Livonians on the other.
    • Interesting enough, the FIA guerilla group can be placed as any of the sides, BLUFOR, OPFOR or Indepedent. This is probably so they can be used both as a friendly resistance faction or an Enemy insurgent group.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: CSAT. Its membership stretches much farther than most examples, with China at the top of the command chain, though it's still based in the Middle East, with every other Middle-Eastern country save Israel also part of it. Interestingly, the sheer amount of resources they can pool together from the alliance means they actually surpass NATO on the tech front in a lot of areas.
  • Mildly Military: Gameplay aside (where you can go as bunny ears as the server and game mods allow) the story mode of ARMA III is one of the few justified and believable examples. Early in the campaign, the Task Force stationed at Stratis are mostly what remains of a larger contingent deployed on a political maneuver, lazily doing grunt work at a snail pace to dismantle everything, pack up and go home. Discipline is lax, work is slow, the troops joke and mock each other, the superior officers (within earshot, who then snark right back), and especially their AAF allies. Then shit hits the fan, the task force is betrayed and after the survivors regroup, they proceed to almost take back the island in a single day, with no supplies network, no backup, no mechanized or aerial support and zero contact with the outside world.
  • Military Science Fiction: Arma 3 has some elements of this: Most of the equipment is slightly futuristic, although mostly based in working prototypes or plausible equipment, not to mention the Eastwinde Device, a machine that causes earthquakes. It gets full-blown Military Sci-Fi with the Contact expasion, where aliens show up.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: The Player Character of the Steel Pegasus campaign, Corporal Barklem, constantly have to put up with his superiors calling him with wrong names like Barkley, Barker, and Barlem.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Although the series takes place in a somewhat Alternate Universe version of our own, so ongoing events like The War on Terror are quite different there even at the same time.
    • The third game goes full blown 20 Minutes into the Future, into an alternate timeline where China and Iran, have formed CSAT, a coalition similar to the old Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, which not only rivals NATO, the European Union and the US, both military and economically, but it has actually forced them to a new pseudo cold war in which the West is all but stated being unable to win if it goes hot.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • You'll have to do your best imitating Real Life military tactics to win the game, and no one ever says their jobs are easy. ARMA 3 takes it up a notch with its tutorialsnote  oftentimes being insane one-man commando missions, such as the Night showcase... where you're tasked with single-handedly causing as much havoc (specifically "going loud") and building destruction as possible all by your lonesome self without nightvision goggles.
    • Picking up enough Urban Warfare experience in the third game will make you realize that is not so much your shooting but your movements patterns and habits that will help you get through. A skill that is not taught anywhere in the game. So you better have somewhere to learn how to check corners, cover angles, which windows you should be careful of and so on, otherwise you're gonna be seeing that "You died" screen pretty often.
    • The same applies to combat away from towns. NPC enemies will likely see you coming if you're not prone, and will send a storm of lead your way when they do. Even if you hide, they will continue to light up your last known position until even the cockroaches are dead, and will still keep an eagle-eyed watch in that direction afterwards. If you don't want to die, get behind some topography and get the hell elsewhere and make sure they don't see you doing it. From there, you can either flank them or run away. Keep in mind that just because they're focused on where they last saw you doesn't mean they never look anywhere else. If they have the high ground and you don't have a creek bed or other terrain feature to crawl into, consider yourself screwed.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery":
    • All the rocket/recoilless weapons for some reason (they were realistic in Operation Flashpoint).
    • Averted for unguided rockets in Arma 3.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted somewhat in Arma 3, where you get to play a CSAT gunship pilot in a couple of Showcases. And sort of a retroactive example with the bootcamp update: The guerrillas that take you in as a member in the second act of the campaign are the same you were aiding the local government (your former allies) to hunt until they betrayed your taskforce, forcing you to join guerrilla ranks in order to survive. Inverted in Tanks as in the mini campaign that comes with the DLC, you play as an AAF NCO since the campaign is there mainly to showcase the new Angara tank.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The Art of War collection (which consists exclusively of ARMA fan art) is stated in-universe to be borrowed from several renowned (but fictitious) museums like the Royal War Museum of London (alluding the Imperial War Museum) or the Andere Pinakothek of Munich (alluding to either the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek or the Pinakothek der Moderne).
  • No-Gear Level:
    • The first level of the second act is waking up ashore as the sole survivor of the task force with zero gear in an unknown location. to make matters worse, there is CSAT-AAF full scale counter offensive on the nearby city (patrol boats, Tanks,APCs, Planes, Helicopters, Infantry, fortified outpost, etc.) and you have to cross it to reach some friendlies across the mountains.
    • LZ Nowhere, the first mission of the Steel Pegasus campaign in Tac-Ops DLC. While there are some rifles nearby, you can only find a couple of spare magazines in the starting point and being mainly an APC crew, the player character doesn't start with any armor other than the helmet. And you'd best not linger for too long in the starting area because a large group of AAF soldiers will come and investigate the crash site.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A particular brutal example on the final level of the third game. To elaborate: during the campaign you end up assisting a British SIS taskforce while taking part in a resistance movement with local guerrillas. After rejoining NATO you are instructed to not to get anywhere near any members of the taskforce if you ever see or hear of them, and disregard any communication you get. Right before NATO's final attack on the enemy HQ a wounded SIS soldier (whom you befriended) calls you to meet him in a location in the middle of nowhere. You can choose: Do you leave him to die and follow the orders? The attack succeeds, enemy forces surrender, Altis is free, war is over, yaaay. Roll credits. Do you go help him against the orders? You find him dying in the aftermath of a botched SIS assault on a secret compound, he asks you to fight your way through remaining enemy troops and retrieve and deliver what is implied to be an Earthquake Machine to the rest of the taskforce. That's not the bad part. After delivering the device, the captain proceeds to extract the weapon, but promises you answers if you wait there for his return. Night falls and you are informed that they can't (or won't) come back, meaning you are left stranded in the countryside, forcing you to find your way to the bulk of the army you just deserted earlier. It gets worse: not only was the main attack a failure, but now, besides NATO scrambling to regroup and evacuate the island, the two enemy armies that used to be allies are fighting each others as well as NATO which means you're gonna have to make your way singlehandedly through the free for all clusterfuck of a warzone that the country has become, in order to find a way of the island. Have fun!
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Lars Blanken, an heir to a war-profiteering Dutch shipping dynasty and a philantropist who founded IDAP, is an early-20th-century Composite Character of Henri Dunant (the founder of the International Red Cross), Andrew Carnegie (who bankrolled the Peace Palace in the Hague, which currently also houses the International Court of Justice) and Alfred Nobel (who, despite having invented dynamite, also went down in history for his charitable and pacifist work).
  • Noodle Incident: In III, on the whiteboard, there's a list of NATO goat ROE (rules of engagement). The list goes like this.
    Do not feed the goats
    Do not touch the goats
    Do not go near the goats
    Do not do what Pvt. Nelson did to the goats
    Do not enrage the goats
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • While OFP featured exceptional voice acting (Mad Libs Dialogue notwithstanding) for the American characters by American or at least American-sounding VAs (Russians...not so much), the ARMA series features very few American voices. Several men in the player's unit in ARMA I, as well as the playable tank commander in Operation Arrowhead are quite obviously British, and the Marine intelligence officer in ARMA II is definitely an Australian who gave up trying to sound otherwise, and one of the Force Recon Marines is played by a Canadian. In ARMA III, Kerry himself occasionally exhibits some bizarre pronunciation. Rather jarring, given the attention to detail everywhere else.
    • Averted in PMC by Tanny, whose Scottish accent is so impenetrable that everything he says has to be subtitled for players outside the UK.
    • Livonian soldiers in Contact DLC expansion speaks Polish with a distinct accent from the southwestern part of the country (not too far from Czech Republic), despite the fact that Livonia itself is located further north beside the Polish border near the Baltics.
  • One Bullet Clips:
    • Averted, after reloading, magazines with bullets left are put back in the player's inventory and can be reloaded again later at any time (the character however will always prioritize full mags when reloading, as long as there are available). note .
    • The realism-enhancing ACE II mod makes this worse, in a way - besides the fire mode selection, it removes the ammo counter from the GUI. The Reload action will inform you how heavy the magazine "feels" and that's all the info you get about the amount of ammo left. On the plus side, some versions of it (such as ACE 3 for the third game) also allow you to redistribute bullets between half-used magazines to refill them.
  • Old Soldier: Santiago, the titual protagonist of the Old Man scenario, an experience ex-legionnaire.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In ArmA II, one of the British soldiers pronounces the letter "Z" as "Zee" instead of "Zed" as Britons usually do it.
  • Orphaned Series: The first ARMA game (a.k.a. Armed Assault) eventually became this when BIS decided not to create any more official content for it and moved on to produce a more polished and improved sequel. Many fans and reviewers felt that this was fairly justified, since the game was still too much like the original OFP, despite implementing several new features and technical improvementsnote . The fact that some of the new stuff was often pretty buggy to begin with and not always well thought out (particularly the implementation of actual tall grass for stealth and the oft overcompetent enemy AI) all added to the game prematurely fading in popularity and not gaining as big a modder base as OFP or ARMA II. The sequel was also launched less than two years after AA, so most of the fanbase made the hop to ARMA II fairly quickly. On the other hand, given how buggy ARMA II was on release (and still is to some extent), the problems are not completely endemic to Armed Assault.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Several missions in the series are less tactical shooters and more Environmental Narrative Games in their own right: The Art of War mission is a prime example: Here the player visits the (fictional) Lars Blanken Gallery in Amsterdam. That's it. They're left to explore a sizeable collection of some really good art (ARMA fan creations, presented in a lore-friendly environment) and to deliberate on the nature of war, the increasingly dehumanising future of warfare, and - most importantly - what can be done to make war as just and humane as possible.

    P - Z 
  • People's Republic of Tyranny:
    • The Democratic Republic of Sahrani (DRS), or "North Sahrani", in ARMA: Armed Assault, is basically a Hispanic version of North Korea (with a touch of Cuba). In ARMA II, Chernarus used to be this, and some of the in-game factions would like if it stayed that way.
    • Takistan is a dictadorship lead by Colonel Muhammad R. Aziz, who was a socialist rebel leader supported by the Soviet Union against the Royalist government of the Kingdom of Takistan. Aziz would later rule Takistan with an iron fist, and threatening their southern nation of Karzeghistan, leading to the events of Operation Arrowhead.
    • The Altis Goverment is more lowkey about its supposedly democratic nature, but no less bloodthisrty. Played straight in the Tac Ops DLC, showing who they really were and how they came to power.
  • Police Are Useless: The Gendarmerie of Tanoa in the Apex Protocol expansion. They only appear in one mission. They are severely under-equipped (their primary weapon being the Heckler and Koch MP5K), so they don't stand much of a chance against Syndikat, who use AKs and M249s. Their weaknesses are justified, because Tanoa recently suffered from a natural disaster and Syndikat have recently been recieving arms and funding from CSAT, as well as support from CSAT's elite Viper unit.
  • Present Day: ARMA: Combat Operations was released in late 2006 and set in mid-2006.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo:
    • David Armstrong in most games.
    • Sergeant Conway, the protagonist of the tutorial mini-campaign Prologue' is seen at various points during the main campaign. This example gets weird when consider that Prologue was added after'' the game's launch in a later patch, and Kerry, Arma 3's protagonist, also has some cameos in the mini-campaign.
    • Sergeant Sturrock is one of the two possible player characters in the Stepping Stone campaign, and makes an appearance in the Steel Pegasus campaign.
  • Private Military Contractors: The protagonists in the Royal Flush campaign in the Arma: Queens Gambit expansion are part of the Royal Flush team of the "Black Element" corporation. The corporation later rebrands as "Ion Services, Inc" and became subject of the Private Military Company DLC for Arma 2. The ION PMC also makes a cameo in III in one of the epilogues as a security detail.
  • Product Placement: The MX series rifles in Arma 3 are designed and modelled by CMMG Inc themselves, based on a real prototype weapon they made. There is even an obvious CMMG brand labels on them that are normally filed off on most other weapons.
  • Psycho for Hire: Dixon in ARMA II: Private Military Company. He even suggests shooting at US Army soldiers to expedite some processes.
  • Qurac: Takistan in ARMA II : Operation Arrowhead, a generic middle-eastern nation set as a mix between Iraq — as it is invaded by the US trying to topple the authoritarian regime with WMDs — with Afghanistan, mostly on the geography and local population.
    • Karzeghistan, a small oil-rich nation located south of Takistan. It appears only in the backstory (although the terrain Shapur is said to be located in the border) as a stand-in for Kuwait, it is threatened by a Takistani invasion which leads into Operation Arrowhead.
  • Red Scare: ARMA: Armed Assault has you fighting the Commie-ish Democratic Republic of Sahrani, which is invading its southern neighbor, the Kingdom of Sahrani. ARMA II pits you against Commie rebels in Chernarus and even brought back the Russians, though of the modern day non-Communist flavour.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Originally ARMA 3 was supposed to be set in Greece involving Iran, but after some of the studio's developers were arrested and jailed while on holiday in Greece, the setting was changed to a fictional country and the Iranians replaced with CSAT.
  • Real-Time Strategy: Not only is there at least one Arma 2 mod that allows this, but the Zeus DLC for Arma 3 was confirmed to support "Zeus vs. Zeus", and the basic Zeus system already involves a Resources bar that can regenerate at different rates if at all, and objects (characters, vehicles, modules, etc.) costing a certain amount of Resources to place.
  • Revisiting the Roots: The "Global Mobilization" and "Iron Curtain" Creator DLCs are set in a "1980s Cold War gone hot" scenario reminiscent of the original Operation Flashpoint.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • It's purely a coincidence that the conflict in Takistan seen in ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead has any resemblance to the First Gulf War for how it started, the Second Gulf War for what happened to the country, or to Afghanistan for how the local people behave. The dictator of Takistan is also totally not Saddam Hussein.
    • And of course, Altis and Stratis from Arma 3 are - despite being former British Greek colonies that just had a bloody civil strive and have to be supervised by British and American peacekeepers and are invaded by a Near Eastern power - are in no way related to Cyprus or North Cyprus.note 
  • Rouge Angles of Satin:
    • The description for any M16A4 with an attached M203 in Arma 2 reads "Assault rifle with grenade luncher".
    • There is also the description of the M60E4 in Arma 2, which lists it as a "Medium machie gun"
    • There's also multiple typos in some of the scripting commands and config parameters under the hood, such as Arma 2 having at one point "[IncomingMisslieDetectionSystem]".
      • The scripting command "setDammage" existed for years, from OFP all the way through Arma 3. When they finally corrected it well after the release of Arma 3, they added the correct spelling as an alternative rather than replacing the original typo because deprecating the incorrect spelling would have broken thousands of user-created missions.
  • Ruritania:
    • The Kingdom of Sahrani Island from the first ARMA game played this trope fairly straight, being a stereotypical Mediterranean-esque monarchy. Its adversary is the aforementioned People's Republic of Tyranny in the northern half of the island, which broke away from the kingdom a few years ago. If you succeed in beating the main campaign, you can defeat the Democratic Republic of Sahrani and help restore the original united kingdom.
      • Corazól is a city located in the border between North and South Sahrani, between the city there's a walled demilitarized zone diving the city in two, filled with ruined buildings. The situation is similar to the UN buffer zone in Cyprus which divides the island between Cyprus and North Cyprus.
    • Chernarus from ARMA II. It's a stand-in for any generic small, impoverished Eastern European Slavic post-Soviet state, with a mixture of Real Life influences: the spoken language is Czech (also reflected in NPC names), while the neo-communist insurgents speak Russian, faintly hinting at ethnic, not merely political, tensions. Curiously though, the written language (seen on various signs in the game world as well as reflected in place names) is exclusively Russian. Meanwhile, the name is an obvious play on Belarus (translating to 'Black Rus' as opposed to Belarus being 'White Rus') and the landscape as well as the look of particularly rural settlements is reminiscent of western Ukraine, Moldova or the northern Balkans. All of this makes Chernarus the closest geographical (and cultural, bar German influence) equivalent to the actual Trope Namer out of all Armaverse countries so far.
    • Takistan from Arma II: Operation Arrowhead is an obvious Qurac, mostly based on Iraq and some elements of Afghanistan with a name that's a blatant send-up of Pakistan.
    • The Republic of Altis and Stratis in III is an interesting example. The maps are based on the real life Greek islands of Lemnos and Agios Efstratios (although the game makes it clear they're not the islands with a different name - having been renamed from "Limnos" during development - but an entire separate location), the general theme of the islands is very similar to the countries of Malta and Cyprus in that it's an independent Mediterranean island republic, with the history begin closer to that of Cyprus than of Malta: both Altis and Cyprus were colonized by various nations, such as the Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs, both nations are mostly famous for their tourist attractions, both nations became indepedent recently from the British, both suffered at the hands of a bloody civil war (altough Cyprus' case was mostly ethnic), both became overseen by foreign peacekeepers and were invaded by a Near Eastern power. The AAF is also very similar to the armed forces of Malta, the Cypriot National Guard, and the Hellenic Armed Forces.
    • Livonia in Contact has borders with Russianote  using Polish as the official language. The way on how they recently joined NATO and are a stepping-stone for a Russian invasion of NATO makes them a very clear stand-in for Baltic countries and Poland. The LDF even uses the "Promet" rifle, based on the Polish "MSBS Grot B" model adopted as Poland's service rifle in 2018.
  • Scenery Porn: God yes. While earlier entries of the series weren't the prettiest on the graphics side of business (on account of the maps being so damn big), they were always massive, richly detailed and thoughtfully designed, that presented a large variety of enviroments and situations. Things got progresively better, bigger and prettier when the advent of more powerful hardware meant that the size of the map was no longer an obstacle for textures and details. Perfectly exemplified in the aptly named Arma III Apex expansion, which featured Tanoa (called "the crown jewel of the Arma series" in the achievements). A massive map consisting of a chain of tropical south pacific island surrounding a mainland which on release was widely hailed as the best in the series.
    • On June 22nd, 2017, Malden 2035 was released for free, a remake of one of the original game's islands (the eponymous Malden). Not only does it look amazing, but it was also praised for being an excellent design for infantry and light armor fighting.
    • It should be noted that the Community Upgrade Project (CUP for short) ported all of the maps from the series (that is Arma I and II, plus all of Operation Flashpoint and its expansions) to be playable in the third game, with top quality. This add on is a must have for almost all forms of online play, and practically makes every type of terrain on earth playable (mountains, jungles, deserts, oceans, underwater, etc.).
  • Scenery Gorn: Taken to its logical conclusion. A prolonged fight in an urban center (especially if heavy assets are involved) is inevitably gonna end up looking ugly (not helped by the fact that the Mediterranean is really pretty, see above). Congratulations! After several hours of bloody fighting, you've taken that beautifully pristine Mediterranean shoreside town. Enjoy your citywide pile of rubble and ruined houses, littered with the bodies of your fallen comrades and slain enemies, illuminated only by the fiery wreckages of destroyed vehicles.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The scenario editor makes it possible to deliberately invoke this - the editor has a set range of years it can be set to (between 1990 and 2015 in 2, 1980 to 2020 in Operation Arrowhead, and then 1982 to 2050 in III), but setting a scenario as early as possible doesn't make it any less possible to use weapons or vehicles that didn't exist at that point in time. Mods can also allow you to pit World War II T-34s against modern (and future!) military equipment, like the T-100 Varsuk (based off of T-95s and the "Black Eagle" concept tank).
    • In-Universe, this is somewhat the case with the FIA and Syndikat, who noticeably use older, simpler and cheaper weapons in general. This is perfectly justified given they're respectively a resistance group and a criminal/terrorist organization. That said, Syndikat also has access to prototypes for the AK-12 alongside older AKMs and the like - they don't, however, have any of the other weapons that were supposed to be based on the AK-12, like the AKU-12 carbine or RPK-12 machine gun, both of which only became playable with the arrival of proper Russian special forces in a later DLC.
  • Schmuck Bait: Averted in Contact. When Rudwell finds a glowing root in the area cordoned off by the LDF, he radios Stype to ask "Okay, now what?" When Stype suggests he "get a sample, or some shit," Rudwell replies "You can fuck right off if you think I'm touching that!"
  • Self-Deprecation: ARMA 3 features a corrupt arms company that cares more about profit than integrity and held no real allegiance to both NATO and CSAT, only seeking to enrich themselves from the proxy conflicts by selling deadly weapons to both sides. The company's name? Bohemia Interactive Industries.
  • Semper Fi: The default ARMA II campaign stars a Force Reconnaissance team, and therefore the USMC are the default "BLUFOR" for the game - hence Marine Corps weapons, Marine Corps vehicles and so on.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: As noted in Mildly Military, the game starts fairly lighthearted, with several jokes, banter and, overall, things are ok and relaxed. Sgt. Adams in particular seems like a very nice guy to have as a NCO and keeps makling light of the situation. Once shit hits the fan, all humour goes to hell and Adams is one of the first ones to die onscreen.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: Like its predecessor, ARMA avert this to hell and back: unless you've just spawned and haven't so much as moved, firing without lining up the sights means you're spraying and praying. That being said, scopes and collimators are more common than not, so you don't have to rely solely on the iron sights. Operation Arrowhead introduced the ability to sight along backup sights on some scopes, and III allows you to switch optics on the fly.
  • Simulation Game: It's a bad idea to approach this game series as just another shooter; rather, it should be viewed as what Minecraft is to LEGOs, or the Skyrim version of an FPS. As the official video guides of the third game puts it: "if you can do it in Real Life military, you can probably do it in Arma". Just the vanilla games allow you to create and experience almost any kind of combat situation, in land, sea and air, as an infantryman, vehicle pilot, etc. All in a way that most approaches the real life function of whatever it is you're playing as. Meaning that imitating real life is usually the most likely way to succeed.
  • Sniper Scope Sway: Dear god... Long story short, there's a shitload of it. The good news is that there are so many factors in it that you can always do something to mitigate it: change stances, rest your weapon against something, deploy a bipod if you have one, move slowly, equip lighter weapons, use less attachements, and a million other little trade secrets.
  • Sniping Mission: Averted in the campaign. There are no missions exclusively for sniping and if you do need an ocassional long distance target taken out, you have a marksman in your squad, precisely for that task. You can browse the workshop however to find hundreds of player-made sniping scenarios and missions that range from amazing to mediocre. Also, there are several shooting range competitions with many weapons, among them, sniper rifles.
  • So Much for Stealth: Averted to hell and back in the first and second act. Stealth and subterfuge is often a gerrilla's best friend, and while being compromised doesn't fails the mission, the best option is simply to engage and dissapear again. To paraphrase the Official Guide: if the enemy knows where you are, he will simply bring stronger and stronger forces to the fight until he wins by overwhelming the guerrilla.
  • Spanner in the Works: At the begining of the third game peace talks are underway to ensure lasting peace between the AAF and the FIA, so that NATO can finally end the intervention. Then an AAF patrol guns down unarmed civilians, the FIA retaliates by ambushing a convoy, and the AAF proceeds to their standard Kick the Dog procedure by shooting supposed FIA soldiers in the capital city and detaining half the population for interrogation, basically telling NATO to shove the peace treaty up their asses. It's unclear how much of it was intentional or not, since everything regarding Miller's activities in the early game is really fishy. But in the third act you can hear soldiers complaining how the destroyed radar station is slowing the invasion down and screwed up their intel. Thing is, Miller ordered that facility be destroyed on the excuse of denying it to the enemy. But we never see the enemy hampered by its loss, so his motives to do so remain suspect at best.
  • Spiritual Successor: The first Arma was a sucessor to Operation Flashpoint, as Bohemia and Codemasters had a falling out, Codemaster went to make Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, but BI kept the Operation Flashpoint'' engine, and upgraded to to their new ARMA series.
  • Sprint Meter: Arma III adds one. Its maximum size is dependent on how much the infantryman is carrying, with heavier loads resulting in a smaller bar than lighter loads. Different actions deplete the bar at different rates: sprinting and climbing up steep hills will deplete it quickly, walking at a jog will deplete it slowly, and standing or sitting still will restore it quickly. The primary consideration is that depleting your stamina will leave you winded, gasping for breath and that in turn will wreck attempts at fine aiming until you can get your breathing back under control.
  • The Stoic: In Arma 2, all characters in-game show no emotions (no eyebrow movement) at all, which is especially noticeable when they are supposed to be smiling, laughing, crying, etc.
  • Surveillance Drone: In Arma 2: Combined Operations there are three drones available, four with the addition of Private Military Company. This is extended in Arma 3 with automated turrets, the unarmed quadrotor UAV, a UGV called the Stomper and the fixed-wing Greyhawk UAV, both of which have both armed and unarmed versions.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills:
    • You can swim pretty well, but swimming for too long will cause any weapons carried on your back to slip off and disappear.
    • ARMA III even adds underwater combat (rebreather and a dedicated underwater weapon required).
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: You'd be surprised to see how many uses one can find for an under-barrel grenade launcher when you're not limited to explosive grenades. smoke and flares for cover, lightning and communications, IR grenade for tracking targets, You name it.
  • Synthetic Plague: The Old Man DLC introduces the Atrox strain, a CSAT-engineered, variant of malaria that can be targeted at specific human genotypes. It is "harmless" to non-targeted genotypes, and afflicted hosts can be quickly treated by conventional anti-malaria medication. For those that fall within the strain's scope however, only specific vaccines - created by CSAT scientists - are able to cure the disease. The prime use of the strain is fabricate crises that favour CSAT intervention. Where others have failed to treat the infected, CSAT doctors - acting under the pretence of providing humanitarian aid, appear as the only "saviours" who are able to cure the super-strain with their special vaccines.

  • Take That!:
    • At Codemasters for Dragon Rising. From an in-universe interview at "AA News Online" (for ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead):
      Ivan Ruce: It seems pretty obvious to me that no one wants to see a Flashpoint Rising in the Green Sea Region.
    • The mission editing reference wiki uses the killing of SpongeBob SquarePants for examples.
    • The decidedly incompetent and constantly dog kicking depiction of Altis Armed Forces in the campaign may have something to do with the creative director and environmental lead having spent four months in Greek jail after being accused of espionage.
  • Tank Goodness:
    • Subverted fromOperation Arrowhead onwards: vehicles don't have a health bar but rather every component of the vehicle has a status indicator that shows the damage of that specific part, the amount of them depending on the vehicle in question (cars have hull, wheel and engine, tanks have right track, left track, turret, sensors, etc.) This means that despite the armor (that can shrug off a lot of damage and protect the crew), tanks are not an invincible gamebreaker, an AT soldier can disable its turret or knock off the main gun, while AT mines can blow up the tracks immobilizing it in an inconvinient location or away from the battlefield.
    • Taken to the literal extreme in the campaign, with Kerry being a member of the 1rst armored division, amusingly at one point he ask where the hell are the tanks that should be supporting them.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • In III, the general feeling among the Americans towards the AAF seems to be "Why the hell are we helping these assholes?". Before shit hits the fan NATO is supposedly on a peace-keeping force, yet the AAF seems intent on doing its best to brutalize the local population, just because they can. Sargeant Adams and Conway, especially, make no attempt to hide their contempt for their incompetence and constant bravado.
    • The Bootcamp mini-campaign reveals that Adams had been hating on the AAF for about a year by Drawdown, and not without good reason, either.
    • The Syndikat and Viper in Apex aren't even attempting to hide their dislike of each other. They even turn on each other at times when NATO forces aren't looking.
  • Tempting Fate: The first Arma 3 campaign mission "Drawdown" begins with the NATO NPCs that Cpl. Kerry encounters sounding rather derogatory about the prowess of the indigenous military, the Altian Armed Forces, with multiple references to them as "Greenbacks" and Sgt. Adams being particularly negative even when they're within possible earshot. Problem is, the AAF aren't going to wait for NATO to leave and are all too happy to push 'em out... and very early into the second mission Adams trips a land mine — quite possibly planted by the AAF — forcing Kerry to hike it to the rendezvous point solo after Adams' death.
  • Timed Mission: Some missions have a time limit, although there's a variety on how they're implemented. For example, Chopper Transport in ARMA has a 5 minute timer, with the enemy starting their attack at that point (including some anti-aircraft fire.)
  • Token Good Teammate: Major Gavras' 3rd Regiment in the AAF. Mostly consists of soldiers not willing to Kick the Dog and the least trusted officers who are being Reassigned to Antarctica. They are also probably the only AAF regiment that is actually competent.
  • The 'Verse:
    • The devs have recently started referring to the setting by the (somewhat more Czech-sounding) term "ARMAversum" as well as "the Armaverse". Given the continuity, OFP's setting belongs under the umbrella term as well. An overview of the setting's timeline is available here.
    • The devs confirmed that their helicopter sim Take On Helicopters takes place in the Armaverse as well, with one of the characters having been a combat pilot around the time of Operation Arrowhead, while Vrana Corp and ION makes cameo appearances; notably, Take On Helicopters implies by Brian Frost's return that his killing of Dixon, ambushing the UN investigators and participating in the cover up is the canonical ending of Private Military Company.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The LDF in Contact probably put the AAF to shame in this department. So very much so that the stranded NATO soldiers decided that the Russians are the lesser of two evils and join forces with them in order to stop the Livonians from detonating a core that would potentially extinguish all life on earth.
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Operation Flashpoint takes place in 1985, with an epilogue in 1991, and was released in 2001. The first ARMA takes place a few months before the game was released. The game was released in November 2006 and takes place in June 2006.
  • Urban Warfare: Most maps have one or two big towns mostly covered by buildings and houses, fighting over them will probably turn into this.
  • Unfriendly Fire:
    • In Laws of War, it is heavily implied (but not confirmed and just left hanging) that the ones wiping out the guerillas in the castle and calling the airstrike on Oreokastro were not CSAT but rather Miller and his CTRG team.
    • In the end of the Eastwind campaign, Mark Cole implies that Miller's failure to inform NATO that the guerrillas are at the target site, and Stavrou's death as a result, was this trope.
  • Universal Ammunition:
    • Averted. You can only use magazines for two different weapons if they are of the same design family and use the exact same ammo and have the same magazine - for instance, the Mk 18 and the Rahim in Arma 3 both use 7.62mm, however the Mk 18 is 7.62x51 while the Rahim is 7.62x54. Meanwhile, NATO's MX and CSAT's Katiba both use 6.5x39mm caseless rounds, but they use completely different, non-interchangeable magazines. The only real possibility for ammo sharing between NATO and CSAT weapons in the default game is with the P07 and Rook-40 9mm pistols.
    • Even within a family of weapons that does take the same ammunition, there are exceptions to what can be used together. Originally, for instance, both 30- and 100-round magazines for the MX exist, but while the support weapon version, the MXSW, can take the 30-round mags of the other variants, the non-support versions couldn't take the MXSW's 100-round ones. Updates have loosened the restrictions, allowing for more combinations of weapon and not-quite-matching magazines, including letting the non-SW versions of the MX use the hundred-rounders, using magazines of different colors in a non-matching version of its parent firearm (e.g. using a black MX mag in a sand-colored MX, rather than the magazine automatically changing color to match the gun you load it into) and allowing greater compatibility between weapons of the same caliber, within reason (e.g. loading magazines from Apex's AKM in the AKU-12 or RPK-12 from Contact, letting the Rook-40 and P07 take the straight 30-round mags for the PDW2000). The only exceptions still in the game are those that wouldn't be interchangeable in real life, such as the Mk 20 and TRG-21 being unable to take the dual-drum magazines available for the SPAR-16S (because the design of the guns means you can't use those kinds of drums with them), or Katiba magazines in the MX or vice-versa (since the magazines are of completely different designs, despite taking the same bullets).
    • Enemy Exchange Program is in full force and you can borrow any enemy equipment if you're out of your own or running low on it, save for their actual uniforms (it is a war crime, after all). The second act of Arma 3's campaign encourages this, where CSAT weapons are more powerful and enemy depots, outposts and other positions are the best way to secure high-end gear like thermal optics, vests, suppressors, long range scopes and weapons, etc. Just be careful if you're playing multiplayer, as making the same sound as enemy weapons can lead to friendly fire or at least wasting time sorting things out.
  • The Un-Reveal: The true nature of the aliens and the strange roots found in Contact. Did the aliens create the root network as a Von Neumann Probe-based communications array? Did someone else create it, and the aliens decided to destroy it after one of the cores destroyed a drone mothership? Did the aliens arrive in response to the release of time-traveling neutrinos by the Electron Exercises, or did they begin their journey thousands of years ago in pursuit of the root network? What do the aliens really look like, and is Čapek correct in his belief that they created their drones in their own image? In all likelihood, we will never know.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: When Armed Assault came out, one of the much-touted new features was the ability to use tall grass for stealthy incursions into enemy territory. Sadly, this only started properly working once the game got properly patched - until then, players had severe problems with aiming at enemies while lying in the grass and the enemy soldiers had Improbable Aiming Skills thanks to an annoying bug. Guess how that ended for most players while they were trying to be sneaky?
    • It is more viable in the third game, within reason. Silencers will not make a gun completely silent, but while an unsilenced weapon can be heard kilometers away, a stealthy approach and a silenced attack can keep firefights contained within a certain radius, and more importantly, it will keep the enemy ignorant of a lot of details that can aid him in the defense (number of attackers, distance, capabilities, potential targets). While a Metal Gear Solid or Hitman-like no-killing approach is impractical or outright impossible (depending on gamemode, mods, and mission type), real life stealth is not only possible, but actually recommended, where possible, to maximize success and keep casualties to a minimum.
  • Vague Hit Points: If hit by a bullet that doesn't kill, you are wounded but not shown by what degree and are only shown the results of the attack. In case of vehicles, they do take damage but the exact status isn't always known to the passengers.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Civilians frequently appear in the missions, and hurting them usually does not affect the mission. Also, in any mission with the Simple First Aid module, you can repeatedly shoot your allies with no ill effects.
      Sykes: Cease fire goddamnit!
    • Averted mostly on Arma 3, as friendly fire will usually result in a Non Standard Game Over, and if it doesn't then the AI will simply turn on you if you repeatedly shoot a teammate.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In the Altis Requiem campaign, if you kill any civilian during the missions, the ending cutscene show that the player character is identified as a war criminal by the FIA and executed.
    • Even if mission scripting doesn't automatically punish the player, in all of the games deliberate friendly fire (usually killing one ally and then shooting another) will cause allies to recognize you as hostile and promptly gun you down.
  • Villain of Another Story:
    • In Take On Helicopters it's implied that the "coverup" ending of PMC was canonical, as Brian Frost has become head of operations for ION, so after a supply flight by Larkin Aviation on behalf of ION's parent corporation goes sour, the Larkin brothers pick up Frost and give him "a shaky ride" until he talks.
    • For a debatable value of villain, but Captain Miller's story arc is mostly separated from the main campaign and you only get glimpses of his activities and loyalties. He later proves to be a loyal member of NATO, but his mission was top priority and everything else, up to and including subordinates and allied lives (yours included) is completely secondary at best. He is directly responsible for the death of several of the survivors of the original NATO peacekeeping corps, entirely guilty for the death of the resistance high command and most of its members, and left you to die on several occasions, not even bothering to answer your questions on why you risked your life and disobeyed orders to help him.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Tanny in Arma II: Private Military Company. The protagonist explicitly refers to bars in Glasgow when speaking of Tanny.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: It was added to Arma 3, as part of the Bootcamp Update, in order to help newbies learn about various parts of gameplay such as material penetration. It comes in three flavors: an actual tutorial, with objectives, instructions and explanations on the how and why of everything; a Virtual Arsenal that allows you to see and test every possible loadout combination and vehicle available (with detailed information on weapons and gear specifications); and the ability to load the virtual space into the level editor like any other map.
  • War Crime Subverts Heroism: A recurring theme throughout the series. At least once per game, the protagonists end up either witnessing a war crime, chasing down war criminals or getting the chance to become one themselves. Several missions and DLCs (most prominently the one that introduced the International Development and Aid Project, or IDAP) also focus specifically on showcasing The Laws and Customs of War. Of course, amongst ordinary players, trying to tick every box of the Geneva Convention has reached Memetic Mutation levels.
    • The AAF's very first scene is a patrol requesting help (even having to be found, since they don't even have a map with them), and finding that they killed 4 men and injured another that is currently dying (and has been doing so for a while, but they never so much as considered calling a medevac until you get there). The patrol claims they're guerrilas and were attacked by them. The thing is, the poor bastards are not even armed and while a nearby resistance cache is hidden nearby, the patrol had no idea it was there, meaning that they probably just killed them for looking at them funny.
    • Later, Conway sees more AAF beating and preparing to shoot a dozen more Altis civilians with nary a thought given to evidence or due process. When he attempts to intervene, he is rebuffed by the AAF top commander in person, who is there calling the shots and visibly enjoying the whole thing.
    • The "firing from vehicles" Showcase shows NATO clearing a populated town from guerrilas and rescuing two kidnapped pilots. Once the town is cleared and the pilots are rescued and only the civilian population remains, the AAF razes the town with an artillery attack, just because.
  • War Is Hell:
    • OFP gives you a rifle, uniform and boots, a helmet and not much else. ARMA II put you in the role of a member of an elite USMC Force Recon squad, liberally adorned with fancy-looking high-tech gear (although not to the extent of Modern Warfare 2). And in ARMA III you're a career soldier fighting alongside British special forces and local freedom fighters. Still it is anything but glamorous, not heartwarming nor awesome. When you die, unloved, unmourned, far away from home, there are no tears nor music, and your team doesn't even stop to look at you, the world goes on, the mission goes on and your body is left there on the ground to rot with a single message:
      [PLAYERNAME]: K.I.A.
    • Between the Obviously Evil AAF, a half-butchered/half-displaced local population and the countryside being almost completely abandoned, save for the scattered resistance camps and AAF patrols, things don't look pretty for anyone in ARMA III.
    • The new DLC Laws Of War deals specifically with this. The campaign shows very clearly that in war, no matter how good your intentions, how professional your forces are, or how righteous your cause is, innocent people will suffer and die. And winning a war doesn't fix the problems the war itself creates, there are years of cleaning up remnants that can still hurt a lot of people.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • The subfactions of both CSAT and NATO aren't exactly on even terms with each other. The Tac-ops DLC showed a lot of what behind the scenes. The British were not exactly happy that NATO supports the new Altis government and has their own operatives working with the previous government's loyalists to undermine the AAF. Also, the Chinese CSAT and Viper (who are fought against in Apex) are so uninterested with direct conflict with NATO that they left the African CSAT Scimitar regiment to their fate in Malden.
    • The Syndikat and Viper in Apex do not get along with each other and only treat each other as pawns in each of their own schemes. In a video feed, a Viper operative and a Syndikat officer are seen arguing after a failed attempt at ambushing the CTRG operatives which ended with the Viper operative shooting the officer. By the sixth mission, you will soon realized as you get into the mission that they just turned on each other with Solomon Maru personally gunning down some Viper operatives after learning their plans.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: The games usually have a very big map (usually 400km), and you load a mission within that map. Theorically you could explore the whole map in the mission, but your objective will be in a small part of the map. Many missions are in a sandbox manner, allowing you massive space to roam and a wide variety of equipment and support options.
    • Arma 3's campaign has scouting in-between missions, where you roam Altis and do little side objectives.
    • The Old Man DLC is a full traditional sandbox, including new features to emulate those in several other sandbox games like waiting to pass time more quickly and fast-travel between unlocked safehouses.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: Subverted. The new Altis government is specifically trying to avoid this, focusing on healing and rebuilding from the moment the AAF surrenders. It's stated, however, it will take a long time to prosper.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: A couple of missions, where you reach your objective only to find that the game moved the goalposts. Particularly, Bingo Fuel, in which you were simply meant to go retrieve a cistern truck, and by the end, Kerry had sneaked through an armored division, looted a vehicle depot, raided a base, ambushed an armored convoy and assassinated the enemy highest-ranking officer in quick succession before he actually finds the fucking thing.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The FIA guerrillas see themselves like this, and truth be told, the sentiment seems acknowledged by NATO, despite being considered hostile. Indeed, while NATO is there to secure a foothold against CSAT and ensure a lasting peace treaty, the biggest obstacle to get everyone in the negotiating table seems to be the AAF themselves (your supposed allies, see Spanner in the Works)
    Sgt. Adams: [looking at unarmed civilians gunned down by a the AAF] The FIA won't react kindly to this.


Video Example(s):


Doomsday Rounds

Womble discovers that the doomsday rounds are useless at ranges beyond 150 meters. Targets WITHIN 150 meters, on the other hand...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / GracefulInTheirElement

Media sources: